05:31 GMT +319 September 2019
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    White House chief strategist Steve Bannon listens as President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with county sheriffs in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington

    Germany's AfD Invited Steve Bannon to Berlin As EU Elections Loom

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    The office of AfD lawmaker Petr Bystron has confirmed a report in Der Spiegel magazine that Steve Bannon's invitation to the 11 May event entitled "1. Conference of the Free Media" would discuss how to better shape information in the future.

    U.S. President Donald Trump's former strategist Steve Bannon has been invited by Germany's right-wing Alternative for Germany (AfD) party to a media conference in Berlin for right-wing journalists and bloggers, with just two weeks to go before the European elections.

    Bystron was quoted by Spiegel as saying the details were currently under discussion, and the magazine confirmed Bannon had been invited to the Bundestag's lower house of parliament.

    READ MORE: German Chancellor Angela Merkel's CDU Party Slumps in Poll

    Steve Bannon, the former chairman of the right-wing news outlet Breitbart.com, has been offering advisory support to a constellation of European populist groups on the eve of May's European elections.

    Last year, Bannon met with France's right-wing leader Marine Le Pen, who signalled her interest in his project to help European populist parties.

    The former political strategist for Donald Trump also said he plans to work closely with the Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban in the run-up to the European Parliament elections.

    READ MORE: German AfD Members Complain About Attacks on Party Ahead of EU, Local Elections

    Bannon revealed that he had visited Budapest to speak to Orban, who welcomed the idea of Bannon’s group, called The Movement.

    Elections to the European Parliament are set to take place on 26 May, and according to the European Parliament's official poll, published back in February, all of Europe's mainstream political families are projected to lose seats.

    Meanwhile, the Europe of Nations and Freedom group, anchored by Marine Le Pen's National Rally in France and Matteo Salvini's League in Italy, are projected to make sizable gains —bringing their overall presence in Parliament from 5 percent to 8 percent, according to the survey, while in Germany right-wing parties, including AfD, could double the number of their seats, says last months’ poll, published in the daily news outlet Bild.

    READ MORE: Asylum Cheaters Will Still Be Allowed to Remain in Germany — AfD Member

    The right-wing AfD has been tapping into the surge of anti-immigrant sentiment that was kindled by Chancellor Angela Merkel's open-door migrant policy.

    The AfD was the third biggest party in Germany's 2017 federal election, and is currently popular with around 13 percent of Germans, according to opinion polls.

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    Tags:
    anti-immigrant, right-wing, survey, migrants, German Bundestag, Alternative for Germany (AfD), Der Spiegel, Stephen Bannon, Marie Le Pen, Angela Merkel, Donald Trump, Viktor Orban, Germany, United States, France
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